Leaders as teachers
DURING my college days, I was asked to lead a tutorial class for my classmates, for students of another section, and for lower grade accountancy students. To be honest, being a teacher was far from my mind (much less being an auditor) when my advisers asked what profession I would like to pursue. Back then, I wanted to be a civil engineer.
I accepted the challenge of teaching at the time for a small fee of P50 per hour to defray some of my college expenses. I would spend three to four hours of my Saturdays teaching. I later realized that the P50 I earned every hour was not the only benefit I earned, but a better understanding and retention of the basic concepts and principles of various accounting subjects.
In my early years at P&A Grant Thornton, I was like a student who wanted to learn the best audit approach and interpretation of accounting standards applicable in every engagement. My best teachers are the partners, managers, and in-charges of our firm. As the years went by and I was promoted to in-charge and then as manager, I now teach the people below me to equip and ready them for the audit season. Today, I realize that teaching is not just a skill of educators, but of leaders as well.
To be successful in every project, engagement, or even in business, we need to have great talent around us, obtained through continued teaching and learning, with the support of leaders to invest their time and resources to achieve our ultimate goals. Leaders do not only focus on specific principles and procedures for running the business or performing their job properly. Leaders teach general professionalism, such as ethics and credibility.
Teaching offers many benefits to our profession. Team members get better. They learn what approach works and does not work in every engagement. They learn from the leader’s experience in understanding the ideas and challenges of our profession. They create a bond with staff members at all levels. Most people value others who try to help them. When we are open to learning, others are also open to learning from us.
On August 16, 2016, the government passed into law the Republic Act (RA) No. 10912, otherwise known as the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act of 2016, which requires professionals to earn CPD units as a requirement for renewing their Professional Identification Card. RA No. 10912 recognizes that learning does not stop at graduation and that it is a lifelong journey. We need to put more importance on what we learn—not on the CPD units—in every CPD program. In our profession and organization, we need great leaders to teach us, from basic principles to complex ideas, and guide us in our career development. (Mr. Quiroga is manager of the Audit & Assurance P&A Grant Thornton Cebu. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading audit, tax, advisory, and outsourcing firms in the Philippines with 21 partners and over 900 staff members. It has offices in Makati, Cavite, Cebu and Davao. For comments on this article, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or PAGrantThornton.email@example.com. )